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User Experience (UX) Knit: Panda

With its high-contrast color scheme and minimalist silhouette, Panda is punchy, fresh, and bold. But with Moondrake's Moko Moko, style doesn't come at the cost of comfort. The silk merino blend is light, warm, and as butter-soft as the inside of a brand new fleece.

 

Panda's construction is "seamlish"- all the main construction is done seamlessly, with finishing only at the top and sides of the pocket and to complete the hood facing for the drawstring.

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CONSTRUCTION

Panda is worked top down. You’ll begin with a provisional cast-on for each shoulder, working the front and back flat to the underarm, and in the round after that. The kangaroo pocket is knit separately and joined at the bottom by knitting it together with the body. The shoulders are joined with a 3-needle bind off, and the sleeves are picked up and worked in the round. The pocket is grafted at the top and the sides of the pocket are sewn down. You'll pick up and knit stitches for the hood and then a folded edge is picked up and worked for the hood edging. 

OPTIONAL BUST SHAPING

 

Optional instructions for adding short rows for bust shaping, in five sizes, give you your best fit.

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CHOOSE A SIZE

1 (2, 3, 4) [5, 6, 7] (8, 9, 10)

Choose the size closest to your actual upper chest measurement. Upper chest is measured above the full bust, at an angle close to diagonal beneath the underarms, and straight across the back. For more information on choosing a size using your upper chest measurement, visit this blog post.

To fit upper chest:  27.75 (31.75, 35.75, 39.25) [42.25, 44.5, 47.5] (50.5, 53.5, 56.5) in / 69.5 (79.5, 89.5, 98) [105.5, 111.5, 119] (126.5, 134, 141.5) cm

Panda is designed to fit with approximately 11 inches / 27.5 cm of positive ease at the fullest part of your bust. The sleeve meets the body 4 (4.75, 5.25, 5.75) [6, 6.25, 6.5] (6.75, 7, 7.25) inches / 4 (4.75, 5.25, 5.75) [6, 6.25, 6.5] (6.75, 7, 7.25) cm over the edge of the shoulder, and is designed to fit the upper arm at the join with 3 inches / 7.5 cm of positive ease. 

Finished bust circumference: 39 (42.75, 47, 50.75) [55, 58.75, 63] (66.75, 71, 74.75) inches / 98 (106.5, 118, 126.5) [138, 146.5, 158] (166.5, 178, 186.5) cm

Finished hip circumference: 39 (42.75, 47, 50.75) [55, 58.75, 63] (66.75, 71, 74.75) inches / 98 (106.5, 118, 126.5) [138, 146.5, 158] (166.5, 178, 186.5) cm

Finished upper arm circumference: 15.5 (16.75, 18, 19.5) [20.5, 21.75, 23.25] (24.75, 26.25, 27.5) inches / 39 (42, 45, 48.5) [51.5, 54.5, 58] (62, 65.5, 68.5) cm

Jen is wearing size 5, Cup 3, with 11 inches / 27.5 cm of positive ease at the full bust and 3 inches / 7.5 cm of positive ease at the upper arm. Her upper chest is 41 inches / 102.5 cm, and she is 5'8" / 173cm tall.

Panda includes instructions for knitting short rows to accommodate breasts. Short rows add length to the front of the garment only, so that the hem does not rise in the front. To choose a cup size, measure your body from the top of the shoulder to your underbust in both the back and the front. Subtract the back length from the front length then subtract 2 inches / 5 cm, and choose a cup size based on the result.  

TECHNIQUES

  • Working directional shaping

  • Working German Short Rows

  • Working both in the round and flat

  • Seaming

  • Grafting

  • Picking up and knitting

MATERIALS

  • Stitch markers

  • Tapestry needle

  • Waste yarn - choose a smooth sport or DK yarn in a contrasting color

  • Stitch holders

  • Large safety pin

  • Drawstring - 53 inches / 135 cm

  • Drawstring stoppers (optional)

GAUGE

18 stitches and 31 rows / rounds over 4 inches / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch with size A needles (Jen used US size 6 / 4mm)

YARN

 

Moondrake Yarn Moko Moko

90% Brushed Merino wool, 10% silk; 164 yds / 150 m per 50 g skein. This is a fluffy, thick-and-thin yarn that knits up in a textured, lofty fabric. 

Main color (shown in Bare): 760 (795, 885, 930) [970, 1010, 1065] (1160, 1240, 1325) yds / 695 (725, 810, 850) [885, 925, 975] (1060, 1135, 1210) m; 5 (5, 6, 6) [6, 7, 7] (8, 8, 9) skeins

If working the bust darts you will need additional yardage in the main color:

Cup 1: 10 (15, 15, 15) [15, 20, 20] (20, 20, 20) yds / 10 (10, 15, 15) [15, 15, 15] (20, 20, 20) m

Cup 2: 25 (25, 30, 30) [35, 35, 40] (40, 40, 45) yds / 20 (25, 25, 30) [30, 30, 35] (35, 40, 40) m

Cup 3: 35 (40, 45, 45) [50, 55, 55] (60, 65, 65) yds / 35 (35, 40, 45) [45, 50, 50] (55, 60, 60) m

Cup 4: 50 (55, 60, 65) [65, 70, 75] (80, 85, 90) yds / 45 (50, 55, 55) [60, 65, 70] (75, 75, 80) m

Cup 5: 60 (65, 75, 80) [85, 90, 95] (100, 105, 110) yds / 55 (60, 65, 70) [75, 80, 85] (90, 95, 100) m

Contrasting color (shown in Black): 335 (360, 365, 385) [420, 420, 445] (455, 455, 495) yds / 305 (330, 330, 350) [385, 385, 410] (415, 415, 455) m; 3 (3, 3, 3) [3, 3, 3] (3, 3, 4) skeins

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WHAT IS A UX KNIT?

 

I'm committed to creating patterns that make a promise and keep it.

My pre-release process includes inviting a group of knitters to experience the final, edited draft of my pattern. They receive a copy of the pattern, access to a super supportive knitalong group, and are encouraged to make fit mods to create their dream project (and I make myself available to coach on that as needed). In exchange, I ask for feedback on their experience with the pattern.

UX means user experience, and that's the point of this process. I work with my tech editor on all the numbers, the fit and grade, and all the other technical a
spects of the pattern. But what I really want to know is how the pattern holds up to real-life use. That's why knitters are encouraged to make the pattern work for their measurements, their yarn choices, etc.

For me, this process is all about creating a fair exchange of value with the UX knitter. I'm there to cheer you on and help you reach your knitting goals. 

When I build my team, I start first with folks who support me on Kofi on a monthly basis. I'm committed to creating paywall-free educational resources for knitters and designers, and I'm able to do that because of the support I receive on Kofi (and I'd love to be able to do more of it!). So those folks get first dibs on UX knitting.

ABOUT THIS UX KNIT

This UX Knit will be run on Slack. Slack is free to join and offers chat rooms by topic. Pattern files, errata, and chat will be hosted in private channels there. Knitters are free to ask questions in the project Slack channel, or to DM me in Slack if that is more comfortable.

Moondrake Yarn Co. is offering a discount for testers.

I expect to have patterns to knitters by September 12th. The UX Knit will conclude December 11th, a total of 13 weeks.

 

I am seeking 1-2 knitters per size and will be choosing knitters so that multiple cup sizes are represented.

COLLABORATIVE KNITTING

A fun, supportive, productive Knit depends on clear expectations between the designer and Knitters. Here's what you can expect from me and what I am counting on from you:

  • You will receive a fully tech-edited pattern.

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  • I make my best effort to respond to questions as quickly as possible and agree to respond to questions within 2 business days, absent an emergency or pre-communicated time away.

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  • I will post any adjustments/errata that surface during the project; if we make a big change or correction, I will post a revised file.

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  • You will receive a credit on my pattern webpage (first name and link of your choice, example here).

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  • I will moderate a space free from hate speech, expressly including but not limited to racist, ableist, fatphobic, homophobic or transphobic speech.

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  • It's important for me to see the fit of the sweater on a body. Knitters agree to complete their sweaters and provide a modeled photo and feedback by the last day of the UX Knit. Modeled photos can be cropped to exclude the model's face.

Although I need to see modeled photos to assess the pattern's success, you are under no obligation to share photos for marketing purposes or to have a public Instagram. Having said that - if you're okay with me sharing your photos I love to do so! I know that knitters of all shapes and sizes benefit from having lots of photos of sweaters on bodies out in the world, and I'm honored to partner with you in sharing your work to that end.

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  • Knitters agree to create and block a swatch.

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  • Knitters agree to communicate throughout, including letting me know if something has come up that will prevent them from completing the project on time. Things happen, we are human, and I definitely understand! With a long UX Knitting period, I can sometimes fill a dropped spot with a replacement, and I truly appreciate knitters who are able to let me know when something does come up for them.

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  • You may make fit-based modifications to ensure your dream sweater - I encourage this!

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  • I rely on knitters to provide feedback about the accuracy and clarity of the instructions, the fit of the final garment, and the amount of yarn used in yards or meters.  Projects are considered finished once the feedback form is complete.

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Knitters who complete the UX Knit will receive another of my self-published patterns for free, in addition to the finished version of Breaker. If you wish to waive your thank-you pattern, I would be very pleased to provide a copy of Breaker to a friend if you prefer.

CREDITS

Tech edit: Sarah Endres

Photography: TBD

Photos taken:

UX Knitters: 

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